My Work

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Galena Creek Bridge

The Nevada Department of Transportation announced toward the end of May, 2012, that the new portion of Highway 395 from the Mt. Rose Highway to Washoe Valley would be open sometime in July, 2012.  There have been problems with the highway from its conception to today, and our old friend Washoe Willie wrote about some of those problems, in his own fashion, you understand, several years ago when I was editor of the Nevada Observer.

Washoe Willie has a distinct manner of finding newsworthy subjects on which to expound, tomes of virulent fun and games, laced often with demon rum or whatever else might be available.

Please enjoy this in the manner in which it is offered.  That is, chaos within an active mind.  jg

Galena Creek Bridge Mystery Solved !!!
Work To Continue

by Washoe Willie

            The Nevada Department of Highway Safety (NDHS) has issued several press releases over the last few years regarding the problems with building the Galena Creek Bridge on Highway 395 between Reno and Carson City.  Not once have they told the real story behind the work stoppage.  Work has halted several times over the last few years, in fact one bridge building company actually pulled out of their contract with the state.  A new contract has been let, but it isn't certain that the bridge will ever actually be open to traffic.  This then is the real story of why the Galena Creek Bridge may never be built.
            The first recorded incident affecting the bridge construction time table occurred in 2003 when iron worker Terrance White walked off the job screaming about "the problem."  White along with many others on the project had been complaining regularly about strange sounds, about seeing shadowy figures, and hearing what sounded like growling.  The prime contractor said the men were making the stories up and refused to investigate.  Federal representatives refused to respond to our questions.
            White was arrested several weeks later when it was discovered he was on the job site without permission putting tape recorders in place.  "I'll prove to you that we weren't making these stories up."  White has been residing as a mental health inpatient in Sparks for more than a year.  "I've never told a lie in my life," he said at his last court appearance, "and I'm not telling one now.  There is something very dangerous at that bridge site."  He insists there is a conspiracy to hide the truth and the bridge will never be completed.
            It was after the prime contractor walked out on a lucrative contract that the full story came to light.  It may be that White and his co-workers did actually see or hear something strange.  E-mail was discovered on May 17th from an anonymous NDHS worker detailing the matter.  This reporter was able to get a copy of the e-mail.  This is how it reads.
            "Regarding the Terry White incident and the following problems with contractors, ironworkers, heavy equipment operators and others, NDHS personnel have found evidence of an entity living along the Galena Creek area, actually directly in line with the Galena Creek Bridge.  Workers have harassed the entity, thrown rocks at it, even taken shots with nail guns attempting to drive it off.  It won't leave."
            Representatives of the Nevada State Wildlife Preservation Agency have investigated the complaints and found bones and indications that something had a very large nest under a rock overhang in the area.  According to Wildlife Biologist Melanie Campbell, "This is a meat eating animal of some kind and the bridge workers must refrain from harassing it.  Prints and other information from the site don't look like bear, lion, or other large carnivores that roam western Nevada."
            In a highly secret E-mail from Campbell to NDHS engineers, the full story can be told.  For years those living near the Parker Ranch along Galena Creek have been harassed, sometimes molested by what is known as a Troll.  It is the Troll of Galena Creek, so often written about in the late 1800s that has disrupted the work on the Highway 395 bridge.
            One passage from the Pleasant Valley Register, a newspaper of 1866, reported the Troll had abducted an entire family that had been living along the banks of Galena Creek.  A further article in the Washoe City Bugle said the family, the father was unable to get work, had been surviving on marmots, jackrabbits, and snakes.  The Hiram Jackson family was found, injured but alive, several miles up the creek, in a state of mental collapse.  They never recovered their senses enough for a complete investigation to take place.  District officials sealed the records of the case, and it is believed the newspaper reports are all that is left.
            NDHS officials will not confirm nor deny these allegations, saying that work is resuming and the bridge will be finished.  There has never been a confirmed photograph of a Troll, but throughout history they have been known.  The Galena Creek Troll is not the only one known to exist in Nevada.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Survival 101

Survival 101

Unlike many countries on this old world, the United States hasn’t been invaded for almost 200 years and for most residents, the concept of a tragedy that could totally interrupt lives comes from weather related problems, rarely lasting more than a week at best.  The devastation suffered by those living in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina is a rare exception.  Most problems that seriously affect lives are also generally localized with help not far away.  This leads to the questions: would you be prepared for something like a long siege following an invasion by a foreign country, or a civil uprising lasting a year or more?

Most of us are aware of lists of things we should have on hand in the event of a short term interruption of our lives, but what about the long term problems?  Experts, and those we’re talking about are survivors of long term problems such as the Bosnia war, the current problems in Afghanistan, and other places around the world, say some of the most important items to have on hand are the mechanical aides we find being replaced by electrical ones in most households today.

During such a catastrophe as an invasion or civil uprising, there will be nothing on grocery shelves within a day or two.  There will be few if any service stations operating, so fuel will be extremely difficult to come by.  Few if any general merchandise stores will be open, and those standing will probably have been ransacked within a day or two.  In other words, you will be on your own.  This is survival 101 and those that get a failing grade will die.

Can openers are the first to come to mind.  Hand cranked grain grinders would be on my list along with hand cranked meat grinders.  Food gathering will be high on many lists, and those that can prepare from raw grains, meat such as dogs, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, all kinds of birds, and the like will survive.  A well stocked pantry full of canned goods would also open you up to those that would steal and kill.  A rifle, shotgun, and pistol with a large stock of ammunition would be essential.
I would want access to good bow saws, axes, and hatchets, along with a bunch of very good knives, a sharpening hone, and some flint with a striking steel.  A couple of shovels, a couple of full rolls of duct tape, and several lengths of long rope would be essential along with a full first aid kit and sheets that could be torn into bandages.  For the long term, I think I would want to attempt to set up my quarters relatively near a water source.

Protection from good old Mama Nature is also high on the list, which would include heavy jackets, shirts, long johns, work boots, underwear, and socks.  One problem that will hit home almost immediately, you will probably not have access to toilet facilities or toilet paper.  Keeping a one to two year supply of such paper on hand would be out of the question.

Those that have survived this type of catastrophe say that bartering becomes a way of life, and scrounging for what we might consider necessities is almost a daily exercise.  Those that have items for barter find some good deals, these survivors tell us, and it’s the little things like toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, and canned goods that bring the highest bids.  And are the hardest to come by.

It’s terrifying to have to think about, but millions of humans have survived this type of human disaster just in the most recent 20 year period.  Those that lived in New Orleans were not prepared for the disaster that befell them, nor was their government.  In the event of an invasion or civil uprising, all government agencies will cease to exist, most facilities that we depend on daily will not be operational, and individually, we will be on our own.  And, here’s another bad part, you will have a very minimal amount of time to put your survival package together.

One survivor of Sarajevo was quoted as saying, “there is no luxury in war quite like toilet paper.  Its surplus value is greater than gold’s.”  Best bet?  Live near a well with a manual pump, raise goats and chickens, and have a store house full of toilet paper.  And, carry two big guns at all times.

As I like to say, read good books and stay regular.